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The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution addresses the circumstances under which private lands may or may not be “taken” for public use by the government. While you may assume that “taking” land means suddenly seizing someone’s entire property and putting them out on the streets, it is important to realize that so many more actions may be viewed as takings under the law.
Anytime a taking occurs, the requirements in the Fifth Amendment apply – specifically, that the taking be for public use and that the property owners receive just compensation. Therefore, you should know when you are able to invoke such rights as landowners. If you believe that any action by the government may constitute a taking of your private property, your first call should be to an experienced eminent domain law firm that can protect your rights.
Anytime the government claims, encroaches on, or even occupies your land for its own purpose, it can constitute a taking. Even the slightest physical occupation of your land can incite your right to just compensation. For example, if a government is expanding a road and must use the corner of your property due to the width of the new roadway, you deserve to be compensated not only for the value of that corner piece of land, but also for any loss of value of the rest of your property due to the proximity of the large roadway.
Takings can also include the right to use your land periodically, such as for utility projects or repairs or to construct an underground pipeline. This can require an easement by the government and you deserve to be compensated for the access to your land and, again, for any value lost because of the easement.
It can be difficult to identify when a taking is occurring, as well as challenging to determine how much you should receive for the taking. Please discuss your situation with the eminent domain lawyers at Sever Storey so you are aware of your rights. Call today at 888-318-3761.
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